Yesterday, the entertainment industry lost one of its brightest stars. Robin Williams is a comedic genius. I will never use the past tense of “was” when referring to that. His comedic presence will forever live on. Robin Williams is one of the stars that resonates with my childhood. Many wonderful things will be said and written about this man in the wake of his death. Well, let me contribute to that, I feel like i have too.
What I remember most, was his seemingly boundless supply of energy. Not just on-screen too, in interviews and guest appearances. Robin Williams to me, had figured out… How to always be the person having the most fun in a room. That’s inspiring to see! It was more inspiring to feel it. I would like to share with you some of my favorite moments of Robin Williams. Though the circumstances of his death make the tragedy more potent. Let’s not focus on that today, lets share in what he made most of do, laugh.
I talked about his boundless energy. This was so apparent, in what I can only describe as his exhausting stand ups. My first memory of a Robin Williams stand up was first his appearance. You swear he just come off the street. This was different to me because my earliest memories of stand up comedians came from the very fashionable Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. The next thing I noticed was the absurd amount of water bottles he had on a nearby footstool. “He must really like water!?” I told myself. Over the next 90 minutes, I quickly learned it wasn’t a surplus of want, it was a surplus of necessity. He was always moving, acting out every joke with every fiber of his being. When it was all said and done, there was no more water and he was sweating like Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter. He was exhausted, and you know what? I was too! My most memorable bit from his stand up, was how much he taunted the french.
I didn’t come to appreciate his stands ups til alittle later, but his movies have always been a constant. Aladdin may have been the first Disney movie I truly connected with as a child. Lets face it, who didn’t want to know genie!? Really think about it, Genies kind of go hand in hand with greed. You didn’t think of the Genie, just what you could get from the wishes. Robin Williams Genie made you forget about that, I just wanted to hang out with him! Who could forget Mrs. Doubtfire? I didn’t grow up with my own father so the movie made a very deep impression on me. To see the lengths he would go just to be apart of his kids life. Simultaneously hilarious and heart-felt. His gifts as a comedian were apparent, but his ceiling was not that low. His performance in Good Will Hunting was memorable. I had a post highlighting some of my Top Ten Movie Monologues, and this very scene with Robin Williams made the list.
His range was just too impressive if you ask me. My absolute favorite role he played, is Rainbow Randolph in Death to Smoochy. I hope people don’t consider this a knock on him, Death to Smoochy is far from the mark in regards to greatest movies ever. It’s a very impressive satirical take on the world of children programming and Robin Williams just nails it. He plays a corrupt children television host. His is later busted by the FBI for taking bribes from parents looking to get their kid some time on the show. He is replaced by the clean and above-board Smoochy, and he spends the whole movie trying to corrupt Smoochy or get him fired. This scene makes me laugh hysterically to this day. Give him a cookie please!
Patch Adams , Jumanji and Bicentennial Man are more of my personal favorites of his. He had this ability to make you care about the character. It became very apparent to me that making people laugh came so naturally to him that he never needed to make it the point. He knew you were gonna laugh, but if he could make you contemplate for a moment, that was even better. Robin Williams will severely be missed. He was one of a kind, and I’m really glad to have experienced him. If you haven’t seen much of Robin, do yourself a favor and go catch up on some of his works. I don’t need to point you to anything specific because most of it good.